Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Years a time for reflection

It seems hard to believe but we are once again at December 31st, New Years Eve for most of us. For me this is a time of reflection on what I have accomplished and what I want to accomplish. Unlike some, I don't make a New Years resolution - frankly I'm not awake at midnight so what would be the point?

Too often people make these resolutions with all the best intentions but how often do we see them through. Not too often. I'm one of the those guilty parties - make a resolution and then when it comes time to actually do something constructive that would give me the resolution, well I'm busy. So for me, this time of year has become about reflecting on where I am.

Where have I been? What have I done? Have I finished everything I wanted or needed to be successful? If I can answer positively to these questions, my year is ending on a positive note. Yes, I am a writer, but my reflecting doesn't always apply to my writing. Nope its only a part of it. I look at everything in my life and reflect on the bigger picture.

For the most part I'm happy with 2012. There were a few things I missed on but hey, that's where 2013 comes in lol. Professionally, I did amazing this past year. I got out four books - all full length and one novella and next year is looking to be pretty good as well. I do need to work on setting time aside for the dreaded marketing/promotional aspect of the business but overall that's something anyone with a business to run needs to do. I made some really great friends connected to the industry and got some awesome and amazing help from them - you know who you are lol.

Managed to get some time spent with family - more than I had anticipated but not as much as I'd have liked so I'm going to work on that next year. Though, some family is simply too far away to spend time with but a call never hurt anyone lol. I know this coming year, I do intend to spend a heap more time with my son - he's growing so fast pretty soon hanging with mom won't be cool.

Personally, the year was good and will get better next year. So I can't complain on that front at all. Its great to have the love and support of the people in your life.

2013 will be my year professionally though. This I have decided and I know what I need to do...and how I am going to do it. So here's to the New Year and its many blessings. Now, what about you? What are your resolutions or reflections? Did 2012 do everything you wanted it to? What about 2013 - what do you plan/hope for in the coming year?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Special Guest Melissa Kendall

Good morning everyone, please welcome our special guest Melissa Kendall who has taken a few moments out of her busy schedule to share some insight into who she is and her writing.
 
1.When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I've always been a writer I guess but I made the decision to give being a published author a go about eighteen months ago.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?
Far longer than it should. When I have a good flow going I can get about 1000-1500 words written an hour.

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I don't really have a schedule I have to work around my four year old so my writing is very sporadic.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write my best after midnight when everything is quiet and it is just me awake in the house.

5. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Ideas come to me in the strangest places. I remember one time I was watering my vegie garden and an idea hit me out of the blue. As soon as I got back to the house, I had a 3000 words story outline.

6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read and spend time with my family.

7. What does your family think of your writing?
They are supportive for the most part but no one wants to read my works I think they are a little too sexy for them.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 6 novella's 3 which have publishing contracts and one 75000 word novel. I don't really have a favourite but my current release Fall In Love is probably closest to my heart as it is set in my home state and contains a little more of me than my works usually do.

9. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
Just do it. You never know unless you give it a try. Oh and get yourself some good critique partners they are lifesavers.

10. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Not really I am very new to this whole thing doesn't mean I wouldn't love to hear from them and see what they think of my works.

11. Do you like to create books for adults?
Oh most definitely one of the genres I write is erotica.

12. What do you think makes a good story?
A boy, a girl, some sexing and a whole lot of what will happen next.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Conclusion - Hometown Miracles

“Mommy?” Sleepy, warm, the soft voice pulled her from the memory.
Lifting her gaze to the mirror, Leanne smiled. “Hi, baby. Have a good nap?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Not yet, a few more minutes. Is Mr. Tickles awake too?”
“Yep, we’re hungry, Mommy. Can we have something to eat?”
Leanne smiled, even in the face of disaster, some things never changed. Reaching into the diaper bag she’d packed, she pulled out a small plastic bag and opened it with her teeth before setting in on the arm rests of her daughter’s car seat.
The smell of apples filled the car as Leanne pulled off the highway at the turnoff to her hometown. Her stomach twisted into knots as she got closer to the edge of town. She’d run from town five years before, alone, scared, broken-hearted after her boyfriend had dumped her. Running hadn’t eased the pain of knowing he hadn’t really been into her, it had only made it worse. Now she was back, maybe this would be the last visit she had with her folks, with those she’d grown up with. She was determined to make the most of it. She wouldn’t hear back from the lab until Boxing Day, and there was no point in spoiling Holly’s Christmas.
Leanne glanced up at the first fat flake hitting the windshield. Five more minutes and she’d be in the warmth of her parents’ house. Relief flooded her as she saw the familiar frame of her childhood home. She forced herself to resist the urge to press the accelerator harder. Keeping to the speed limit, she pulled in behind an unfamiliar black suburban, her brows drawing down in confusion.
“Who at Gwamma’s, Mommy?”
“I’m not sure.” Leanne debated moving the car, then she shrugged. Whoever was there would let her know if she needed to move it. She slid the gearshift into park and turned off the engine. She sat in the car listening to the pop and hiss of the engine as it cooled, only the mindless chatter from the backseat got her out of the haze she was in. A smile pasted on her face, Leanne opened the driver’s door and stepped out into the cold December air.
“Leanne, darling. So glad you made it. I was just about to send your father out to see if you’d gotten a flat or something.” Her mother rushed from the open front door, her arms opened wide to hug her as she stepped from the car.
Grinning at the exuberance of her mother, Leanne shook her head. “No flat. The weather was the hold up. Hit snow out by the bay. With Holly getting bigger, we needed more room than the apartment in Vancouver.”
“What bay?” Deep, rich, the baritone washed over Leanne like a warm waterfall.
Turning, she met the laughing green eyes of her longest friend and confident, Jay Locke, and her father, a round, robust man with gray at the temples.
“Hey, Jay.” Leanne gave him a tight hug before stepping back. “Give me a hand with the bags. I’ll get Holly. We moved last year. We live out at Cross Bay now. I work at the resort.”
“Why on earth didn’t you say something? We’d have helped you out if Vancouver wasn’t meeting your needs.” Sharon hovered by her elbow, a hand pressed to Holly’s back as she stood with her daughter wrapped in her arms. “Jay, help Robert get the bags please.”
“Sure thing, Mom.” Jay winked at her and dug into the back of the car.
Leanne grinned at the reminder of a long-held habit. Sharon had always allowed Jay into her home, into the family, even though he’d only been a neighborhood boy. With a shake of her head, she followed her mother toward the house, her gaze darting back to the man standing with her father. Neither man looked impressed with the old battered car she now drove, but she had bigger worries than concern for her choice of a car.
Stepping inside, she shivered with delight at the heat and began undoing her daughter’s coat. She glanced up sharply at her mother’s impatient wave of her hand. “What? She’ll get too warm.”
“I’ll manage. You get yourself out of those winter clothes. Your room is still free. You look tired, Leanne, you’re working too hard.” Sharon eased the sting of her words with a kiss and a smile. Tucking a strand of Holly’s hair behind her ear, she stared into Leanne’s gaze. “Get some rest. Holly and I are going to make cookies.”
“Mom, she doesn’t need to be in the kitchen. You’re probably up to your ears in baking, she doesn’t need to be underfoot. Besides, she’ll want to see the Christmas lights.”
“Don’t argue with your mother.” Robert nudged her past the door with the front of her suitcase. “It won’t help you any. Now go on with you. Get some rest. It’ll be a while before dinner’s ready.”
“Should I move my car?”
“No, Jay’s staying for dinner.” Robert nodded at the stairs. “Go on with you.”
Exhaling, Leanne finished shedding her outerwear and headed up the stairs. She smiled at the faint creak in the fourth one up. How many times had that stair gotten her into trouble for breaking curfew? The banister was warm, smooth beneath her touch, the familiarity like a hug after a long, hard day.
“She’s working herself to death, Robert. I don’t like it.” Her mother’s concerned voice drifted up the stairs as Leanne paused before her bedroom door.
Leaning her head against the cool wood, she closed her eyes to stop the burning tears that threatened to overwhelm her. “It’s not the work that’s likely to kill me, Mom,” she whispered and twisted the doorknob.
The door clicked shut behind her with a sense of finality that struck Leanne as she took in the pale pastels of her bedroom. A hand sewn quilt covered the bed, the colors and design making Leanne want to cry. She remembered when her mother had given it to her...the day Holly was born. The mattress dipped beneath her weight, and her hands smoothed over the blanket. Leanne stared at the mirror hanging on the back of the door and exhaled.
“Please, please, let me beat this. I don’t want to leave my Holly.” She curled up on the bed, her hands wrapping around herself tight to ward off the chill that seeped from within. Her eyes closed on the prayer.
* * * *
Jay frowned, the bag held in his grip as he stared at the door of Leanne’s bedroom. She’d aged since he’d seen her. He’d watched her grow up, watched her mature into the woman he’d been looking forward to seeing. Growing up in the same neighborhood, Leanne had grown to be his best friend through high school. She was a tough kid, smart, fun to be around. He’d bitten his tongue when she’d taken up with John Barthelemew—the bastard was no good and had broken more than one heart by sleeping with a girl and then dumping her. Was it the idea of running into John that had Leanne looking like she’d gone ten rounds with a bat?
The battered bag hanging from his hand, Jay knocked gently. When no response was forthcoming, he opened the door and stepped inside. Leanne lay curled on the bed, her long blonde hair in a messy knot at the back of her head. Dark shadows colored her cheeks along with the fresh tracks of tears.
“Oh Lee, what’s going on?” he whispered as he set the bag beside the small desk and backed out of the room. Jay closed the door and headed downstairs. He’d get what was wrong out of her before Christmas, she’d never held any secrets back from him.
“Well?” Sharon wiped her hands on the dish towel.
“She’s out like a light.” Jay forced a lightness to his tone he didn’t feel.
“She’s working two jobs to support them.” Sharon shook her head. “Needs a man around to help out. John shouldn’t have abandoned her.” Her sharp eyes locked on Holly’s frame playing train with Robert by the Christmas tree. “She should have him around to help her with his daughter.”
“You don’t know that John’s the dad.” Jay squeezed Sharon’s shoulder. He knew as well as anyone that Leanne was a grown woman who could do whatever she wanted. Holly’s father wasn’t up for discussion, Leanne had made that clear more than once. “And if she wants help, she’ll ask us.”
“Why couldn’t she fall in love with you? You’re the kind of guy she deserves.”
“Sharon, matters of the heart aren’t something to be discussing. Especially when they’re the type where Leanne can get hurt.” Jay turned and walked away before she caught the look on his face. He’d spent more than one night wondering the same thing.
Pouring a cup of coffee, Jay wandered from the kitchen to the living room and stood before the massive window. Having Leanne home revived old feelings, giving him something to hope for this time. Was it their time yet? Could he win her this time? Sipping at the dark brew, he offered a quick hope to the magic of Christmas that this time was going to be what he’d always hoped for.
* * * *

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hometown Miracle Part Two

Due to a scheduling glitch this is a wee bit late. Happy reading!


“Mommy?” Sleepy, warm, the soft voice pulled her from the memory.
Lifting her gaze to the mirror, Leanne smiled. “Hi, baby. Have a good nap?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Not yet, a few more minutes. Is Mr. Tickles awake too?”
“Yep, we’re hungry, Mommy. Can we have something to eat?”
Leanne smiled, even in the face of disaster, some things never changed. Reaching into the diaper bag she’d packed, she pulled out a small plastic bag and opened it with her teeth before setting in on the arm rests of her daughter’s car seat.
The smell of apples filled the car as Leanne pulled off the highway at the turnoff to her hometown. Her stomach twisted into knots as she got closer to the edge of town. She’d run from town five years before, alone, scared, broken-hearted after her boyfriend had dumped her. Running hadn’t eased the pain of knowing he hadn’t really been into her, it had only made it worse. Now she was back, maybe this would be the last visit she had with her folks, with those she’d grown up with. She was determined to make the most of it. She wouldn’t hear back from the lab until Boxing Day, and there was no point in spoiling Holly’s Christmas.
Leanne glanced up at the first fat flake hitting the windshield. Five more minutes and she’d be in the warmth of her parents’ house. Relief flooded her as she saw the familiar frame of her childhood home. She forced herself to resist the urge to press the accelerator harder. Keeping to the speed limit, she pulled in behind an unfamiliar black suburban, her brows drawing down in confusion.
“Who at Gwamma’s, Mommy?”
“I’m not sure.” Leanne debated moving the car, then she shrugged. Whoever was there would let her know if she needed to move it. She slid the gearshift into park and turned off the engine. She sat in the car listening to the pop and hiss of the engine as it cooled, only the mindless chatter from the backseat got her out of the haze she was in. A smile pasted on her face, Leanne opened the driver’s door and stepped out into the cold December air.
“Leanne, darling. So glad you made it. I was just about to send your father out to see if you’d gotten a flat or something.” Her mother rushed from the open front door, her arms opened wide to hug her as she stepped from the car.
Grinning at the exuberance of her mother, Leanne shook her head. “No flat. The weather was the hold up. Hit snow out by the bay. With Holly getting bigger, we needed more room than the apartment in Vancouver.”
“What bay?” Deep, rich, the baritone washed over Leanne like a warm waterfall.
Turning, she met the laughing green eyes of her longest friend and confident, Jay Locke, and her father, a round, robust man with gray at the temples.
“Hey, Jay.” Leanne gave him a tight hug before stepping back. “Give me a hand with the bags. I’ll get Holly. We moved last year. We live out at Cross Bay now. I work at the resort.”
“Why on earth didn’t you say something? We’d have helped you out if Vancouver wasn’t meeting your needs.” Sharon hovered by her elbow, a hand pressed to Holly’s back as she stood with her daughter wrapped in her arms. “Jay, help Robert get the bags please.”
“Sure thing, Mom.” Jay winked at her and dug into the back of the car.
Leanne grinned at the reminder of a long-held habit. Sharon had always allowed Jay into her home, into the family, even though he’d only been a neighborhood boy. With a shake of her head, she followed her mother toward the house, her gaze darting back to the man standing with her father. Neither man looked impressed with the old battered car she now drove, but she had bigger worries than concern for her choice of a car.
Stepping inside, she shivered with delight at the heat and began undoing her daughter’s coat. She glanced up sharply at her mother’s impatient wave of her hand. “What? She’ll get too warm.”
“I’ll manage. You get yourself out of those winter clothes. Your room is still free. You look tired, Leanne, you’re working too hard.” Sharon eased the sting of her words with a kiss and a smile. Tucking a strand of Holly’s hair behind her ear, she stared into Leanne’s gaze. “Get some rest. Holly and I are going to make cookies.”
“Mom, she doesn’t need to be in the kitchen. You’re probably up to your ears in baking, she doesn’t need to be underfoot. Besides, she’ll want to see the Christmas lights.”
“Don’t argue with your mother.” Robert nudged her past the door with the front of her suitcase. “It won’t help you any. Now go on with you. Get some rest. It’ll be a while before dinner’s ready.”
“Should I move my car?”
“No, Jay’s staying for dinner.” Robert nodded at the stairs. “Go on with you.”
Exhaling, Leanne finished shedding her outerwear and headed up the stairs. She smiled at the faint creak in the fourth one up. How many times had that stair gotten her into trouble for breaking curfew? The banister was warm, smooth beneath her touch, the familiarity like a hug after a long, hard day.
“She’s working herself to death, Robert. I don’t like it.” Her mother’s concerned voice drifted up the stairs as Leanne paused before her bedroom door.
Leaning her head against the cool wood, she closed her eyes to stop the burning tears that threatened to overwhelm her. “It’s not the work that’s likely to kill me, Mom,” she whispered and twisted the doorknob.
The door clicked shut behind her with a sense of finality that struck Leanne as she took in the pale pastels of her bedroom. A hand sewn quilt covered the bed, the colors and design making Leanne want to cry. She remembered when her mother had given it to her...the day Holly was born. The mattress dipped beneath her weight, and her hands smoothed over the blanket. Leanne stared at the mirror hanging on the back of the door and exhaled.
“Please, please, let me beat this. I don’t want to leave my Holly.” She curled up on the bed, her hands wrapping around herself tight to ward off the chill that seeped from within. Her eyes closed on the prayer.
* * * *
Jay frowned, the bag held in his grip as he stared at the door of Leanne’s bedroom. She’d aged since he’d seen her. He’d watched her grow up, watched her mature into the woman he’d been looking forward to seeing. Growing up in the same neighborhood, Leanne had grown to be his best friend through high school. She was a tough kid, smart, fun to be around. He’d bitten his tongue when she’d taken up with John Barthelemew—the bastard was no good and had broken more than one heart by sleeping with a girl and then dumping her. Was it the idea of running into John that had Leanne looking like she’d gone ten rounds with a bat?
The battered bag hanging from his hand, Jay knocked gently. When no response was forthcoming, he opened the door and stepped inside. Leanne lay curled on the bed, her long blonde hair in a messy knot at the back of her head. Dark shadows colored her cheeks along with the fresh tracks of tears.
“Oh Lee, what’s going on?” he whispered as he set the bag beside the small desk and backed out of the room. Jay closed the door and headed downstairs. He’d get what was wrong out of her before Christmas, she’d never held any secrets back from him.
“Well?” Sharon wiped her hands on the dish towel.
“She’s out like a light.” Jay forced a lightness to his tone he didn’t feel.
“She’s working two jobs to support them.” Sharon shook her head. “Needs a man around to help out. John shouldn’t have abandoned her.” Her sharp eyes locked on Holly’s frame playing train with Robert by the Christmas tree. “She should have him around to help her with his daughter.”
“You don’t know that John’s the dad.” Jay squeezed Sharon’s shoulder. He knew as well as anyone that Leanne was a grown woman who could do whatever she wanted. Holly’s father wasn’t up for discussion, Leanne had made that clear more than once. “And if she wants help, she’ll ask us.”
“Why couldn’t she fall in love with you? You’re the kind of guy she deserves.”
“Sharon, matters of the heart aren’t something to be discussing. Especially when they’re the type where Leanne can get hurt.” Jay turned and walked away before she caught the look on his face. He’d spent more than one night wondering the same thing.
Pouring a cup of coffee, Jay wandered from the kitchen to the living room and stood before the massive window. Having Leanne home revived old feelings, giving him something to hope for this time. Was it their time yet? Could he win her this time? Sipping at the dark brew, he offered a quick hope to the magic of Christmas that this time was going to be what he’d always hoped for.
* * * *

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hometown Miracles

Hometown Miracles
 
Leanne Wilson glanced behind her at the sleeping urchin wrapped around a teddy bear, her pale hair sticking up every which way. She wiped at a tear trailing down her face and returned her attention to the road.
Passing the road sign, Leanne breathed a sigh of relief. Only twenty miles until she was home. Trembling fingers twisted the dial of the radio up a notch, the sound of a cheery Christmas tune filling the car.
Just what I don’t want.” Leanne shook her head. Any hint of holiday cheer had faded the moment she’d gotten the call. Her heart stuttered with the stirring of a memory she’d tried desperately to push to the back of her mind.

Hello, Leanne. This is Jeanette from Doctor Heklen’s office.”
Her heart in her throat, Leanne pulled out a chair from the table and sank into it. “Hi, Jeanette. Did you get the results?” The acrid taste of fear in her mouth soured the coffee she’d taken a sip of. As she said a silent prayer, the faint sound of laughter from the living room grated across already exposed nerves.
Doctor Heklen would like you to come into the office to discuss it. We have an opening this afternoon at one.”
Leanne glanced at the clock above the stove and swallowed against the knot in her throat. “I’ll be there. They found something, didn’t they?”
Leanne...”
We both know they did. So is it malignant or benign?”
It’s cancer. The doctor can tell you more, along with what treatments are available. I’ve got you booked for one.”
Her head spinning, Leanne felt the room spin as the phone slipped from her fingers. The clatter of the phone pulsed through her head as she sat frozen in the chair.

Join the next Beachwalk Babes as they spin delightful tales for your enjoyment.
Elise Whyles - Merry Christmas, Mrs. Todd  http://elisewhyles.blogspot.ca

Aimee Duffy Believe in Me - http://www.aimeeduffy.co.uk/

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Promo or bust?

I've been lucky enough to be published for over five years now, with multiple books available. It hasn't always been easy, juggling family, friends, work, and writing can be trying at the best of times but when you throw in the biggest chunk of time...well it can be trying.

I'm not talking research or signings, or readings, or writing...no I'm talking about something else. Something many of us cringe at the thought of doing. Promoting ourselves. To be successful, we can't sit on our laurels and wait for readers to find us. The internet is a massive place, full of twists, turns, and black holes. To be recognized one must do whatever they can to be noticed.

Many new authors hear about the latest thing in social networking - and jump on the bandwagon. I'd be the first to admit that I count myself in that club. Try it all and see what works. However, by the time you've joined, created a place for yourself, and become noticed...your readers are sitting there wondering when your next book is coming.

Moderation is key to success, at least in my opinion. What's the point of having a twitter if you're never on it? Or a blog you never update? You need to make yourself accountable for how you reach out to your readers. This can be as simple as picking two or three places, being active there and allowing your readers to understand these are your places.  Many times these are freebies - blog, website, facebook, pintrest, yahoo and google loops - which I strongly recommend. Which you choose is up to you, but keep it fresh and active so readers want to come back to see what's new with you.

There are also the pay for marketing options. The variety availabe to authors is intense and varied, there are marketing companies, ads, and more for all genres and lengths. This doesn't necessarily mean you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars annually to market ourselves. Many of the marketing I've tried that has garnered sales is free or very cost effective. Or even pays me to be there and talk about my books. Yes, I did say it pays me to visit.

Two things I firmly believe every author needs to have in hand. One a portfolio. Yes, you do need it. If you're doing book signings, readings, or guest appearances you should have something you can hand out for the owner/booking agent to go through and see how well you fit into their location. It doesn't have to be a book length document, a couple of pics, a list of your work, samples from your work, contact information all tied up in a neat, professional package is key.

A rate sheet. Keep in mind if you're invited to speak at an event such as  writers club meeting you need to market it as a paid for event. Your time IS VALUABLE, and if those who are going to attend want to get the best out of it - that old addage you pay for what you get is true. Free is good, but if they feel their paying for your expertise you may or may not get a better turn out. Sometimes it can also weed out those who expect you to do their work for them.

Promoting yourself is a bit of a pill to swallow. Writing the book is the easiest thing you're going to do because once you're in, you have to make sure you're aware and capable of promoting not only that book but your entire brand...but that's a topic for another day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tallusian Nights by Ciara Lake

Val Braeden is a seasoned Xihirian soldier hardened by the Realmist wars.  He discovers his true mate while on his latest rescue mission. A lovely Tallusian woman’s touch awakens him as no other.  While escaping the war torn Tallusian capital the Realmist take down Val’s spacedisk.  He crashes into the Tallusian forest.  There Zalora and Val are determined to survive the wilds of Tallusia. Sparks fly, lighting a flame within them both.  Their passion heats the Tallusian nights binding them together forever.

Clitax Tomron is bent on revenge – he’s determined to avenge his father’s death.  Tomron strikes close to Val’s heart, taking his family hostage.  Only one thing stands in Tomron’s way, the power of a beautiful Tallusian princess.  Zalora wants peace and to put an end to these terrorist. She risks everything to save those she feels responsible for and the man of her dreams.

This week's Featured Authors are...

This week, I'll be featuring the amazingly talented authors from eTreasures Publishing. A small, indie publisher based out of Florida, eTreasures is growing steadily. Please join me as I welcome the amazing authors and their works over the next few days :)


Monday, July 30, 2012

Launching of Five Alarm Lust

Please welcome Miss Elise Whyles to Of Ink and Quille. Today she's celebrating the first book in a trilogy entitled Five Alarm Lust.

Welcome Elise, pleased you could stop by. To celebrate you're having a bit of a contest, aren't you?
Thank you for having me. I'm having a blast being here. Yes, I am. I'm super excited to be able to share Jack and Gillian's stories. They deserve to be happy and I'm offering a free copy of Five Alarm Lust to one lucky commenter.
Wait? Who?
Jack and Gillian - There's a play on their names that is very ironic...I'll give you a hint - it comes from a nursery rhyme.

Survivor Gillian Hilliard is finally healing from the
nightmares of her past Fearing no man will ever find her attractive; she has hidden behind a disguise of simple attire and large glasses. When Gillian meets firefighter Jack Payle, she is instantly attracted, and in the face of that attraction enjoys a wild night of sex with him. In the cold light of day, however, she’s torn apart by guilt and shame, and retreats to the familiar comfort of her simple life.

After years of chasing the wrong kind of woman, Jack is
shocked by the instant attraction he feels for the mousy historian with shadows in her eyes and an unchecked passion beneath the surface. Looking into her dark eyes, Jack can’t help the lust firing his blood or the memories of her response to his touch. Passionate, sexy Gillian is everything he’s ever wanted, and his
heart knows it. Are they strong enough to face down the demons haunting Gillian? Can she trust the man who holds her heart with her darkest secrets as they struggle to overcome the shadows of the past, or will the darkness destroy them before they begin?

Excerpt:


Pain lashed at Gilli, who swallowed against the rising tide of memories. Absently she rubbed at her right thigh, the faint scar searing with pain. Michael deserved to rot in hell, and she hoped he was suffering every day while in prison. “He didn’t put up with me, Mother. I believe you of all people should remember that, since it was you who drove me to the hospital after one of his episodes.”

“You always were a bit of an oaf…”

“The son of a bitch shoved me through a wall, not to mention down the stairs. I’m not even going to argue with you, Mother. The glasses are mine. I like them. They’re staying.”

“Whatever, do try to hurry Gillian.”

Gilli shook her head and listened to the rapid tapping of her mother’s heels on the hardwood floor. “Only woman I know who wants a huge wedding every time,” she grumbled as the stylist finished pinning her hair up.

“That’s it, Miss Hilliard. As per your request, I left most of it down.” The young woman leaned down, her hand on Gilli’s shoulder. “You’re going to knock ’em dead.”

Gilli offered a short, weak laugh and patted the girl’s hand. “Thanks.” She slipped her glasses on and rose to totter toward the door on the stilettos her mother persisted she wear. As she exited, the door closed behind her with a click. Gilli turned, smacking face first into a tall, hard wall of flesh before her. Heat seared her body at the touch of his hands on the bare flesh of her back. Putting a couple of inches between them, Gilli glanced upward. Her heart dropped before galloping in place.

Dark brown hair curled over a tanned forehead, green eyes as dark as pine stared at her, bemusement sparkling in them. “Excuse me, miss.”

She shuddered at the slow drawl curling like a lover’s touch into her core. Her labia pulsed beneath the lace of her panties. A flush crept along her throat to heat her cheeks and she ducked her head to hide the wave of color washing over her face. She cleared her throat. “No, pardon me. Entirely my fault.”

Scurrying down the hall, she gasped at the sensitivity in her breasts. Heavy, full, the nipples throbbed beneath the layers of satin and lace. Desperate to cool her blood, she darted past a couple of women and into the ladies room. The thin metal door offered minimal protection as she locked herself into a stall. A thud filled the silence as she let her forehead drop, leaned against the icy metal, and inhaled.

Gods above, Zeus in the flesh right before me. What I wouldn’t give to have him … but he’s not going… Arousal scorched along her veins, pooling between her legs and soaking her underwear. Like venom, her ex’s sneering tone filled her mind. You couldn’t turn a light bulb on, Gillian. You’re sexless. You should get a boob job. Can’t count…

The soft clunk of the heavy public bathroom door opening preceded Barbara’s biting tone. “Gillian, don’t think I didn’t see you…”

An uneasy cringe escaped in spite of the relief at the shattered memory. Gillian squeezed her eyes shut. “Mother, can I not use the facilities without you harping at me?” Gillian smoothed her skirt down, rolling her shoulders forward in the hope of hiding her erect nipples. “I’ll be there in a moment.”

“Well hurry up, they’ve already got everyone seated. Goodness, child, you’d think you’d remember this was my wedding!” The bathroom door clicked shut on her mother’s tirade.

With a roll of her eyes, Gillian stepped out of the stall, shot a look at her reflection in the mirror, and inhaled.

“There’s no point in getting hot and bothered over the likes of him. He ain’t going to want you.” Gilli waved a hand at her reflection, a perfect imitation of her mother. “Horn-rimmed glasses, mousy-looking hair, no tits. Didn’t Mike teach you a damn thing, Gillian? Men don’t want a mouse, they want a sexpot, and you’re not it.”

With a quick shake of her head, she smoothed her skirt down, sucked in a deep breath, and pulled open the bathroom door. She glanced around carefully before darting into the hallway.

Pressed close to the wall, she took her place before her mother, feeling like an over-stuffed Easter egg as the Wedding March began to play. A smile pasted on her face, she gripped the flowers in her hand tighter and began the slow but steady shuffle toward the preacher.

Focused on getting there without falling, Gilli gasped at the man standing next to the altar. Laughing green eyes watched her, his lips turned upward at the corners. A slight shadow covered his square jaw. The dark suit he wore clung to his broad shoulders, tucking in at his waist. She wondered if beneath his suit coat, his ass was as good as the rest of him. Embarrassed, she stepped back, narrowly missing tripping on her own gown’s hem.

Her mother’s pointed clearing of her throat drew her attention to the woman sashaying along, the yards and yards of tulle and lace out of place on a woman in her fifties—who’d had six previous husbands and more lovers then Gillian thought healthy. The unspoken warning in Barbara’s eyes pierced clearer than any shouting match could be. There would be hell to pay if any attention slipped from the bride.

“Typical.” Gilli glared at the flowers, disgust rolling in her nauseous gut. She offered a prayer the ceremony would draw to a quick end so she could ditch the shoes, the flowers, and find a quiet corner to relax in, with the help of an expensive bottle of champagne.

She shot a glance across the aisle, heat suffusing her face when she caught sex in a cummerbund’s eye. Screw the wine—what she wouldn’t give to get lost in him. Maybe if she’d been different… Pushing aside the vague thought, she focused on the drone of her mother’s voice as she spoke her vows.


Time for the hard work - what does Gillian think of Jack when she bumps into him in the hallway by accident? The lucky winner will win a free copy of Five Alarm Lust.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Make Me Stay

Inspiration Comes in Strange Places…


Where did the idea for Make Me Stay Come from? One night back in January, I couldn't get the Katy Perry song The One That Got Away out of my head. I was humming it in the shower and bam, the idea for my newest novella hit me.

I hopped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around myself and logged onto my computer as fast as I could. It was one of those moments where I had to get the scene down. It didn't even matter that I was wet and shivering. It was the first time in my writing journey where I started at the end of the book. The chapter kept playing out in my head, and I knew no matter what happened from the beginning of the story on, I had to end up with what I had just written.

Now, don't ask me what that song has to do with a BDSM romance, I'm still not sure. But, for whatever reason those lyrics triggered something in my subconscious. The inspiration was so strong that I managed to write Make Me Stay in three days. The story flowed, and the characters cooperated, so I went with it. Make Me Stay is a story about reconnecting with a lost love and finding away to make life work, no matter how crazy it may seem. It's a love story at the core. I'm really pleased with the final outcome and I can't wait to share it with all of you.

I'm also in the process of writing a second book called Surrender to Me. This novella will feature the main characters, Cade and Gracie, from Make Me Stay, but Martin Abrams will be the focus. You'll meet Martin in Make Me Stay. He was one of those characters that wouldn't leave me, so I gave the sexy Dom his own book.

Here's a peek into Make Me Stay available now from Beachwalk Press…

Can the sub teach the Dom to play?

Natural submissive Gracie Miller thought she had found her other half in Cade Jameson. Not only did he help her through a difficult time in her life, in the bedroom he brought her more pleasure than she could have ever imagined. They seemed perfect for each other.

Cade knew what he wanted in the bedroom. Gracie brought out his domineering side and ignited his passion. But he feared he was too dominant for this beautiful, naïve girl, who was so young and impressionable, so he ended their relationship.

Two and a half years later, Gracie returns to town a new woman. She had moved to the city and found a "Master" who showed her what she was truly capable of. Now she's back and wants to show Cade exactly what kind of submissive she could be for him.

But after hearing all that she's experienced, Cade now wonders if he's dominant enough to satisfy her. Can he be the man Gracie needs him to be?

Content Warning: graphic sex, BDSM themes

http://beachwalkpress.com/make-me-stay/


***

Excerpt…

Ten minutes later they were seated at a quaint restaurant in the center of town. Cade had requested a quiet table in the back so they wouldn't be interrupted. He was confused enough and didn't need any distractions. Being a well-known businessman, he was always running into people who wanted to have a drink with him. Gracie's return would probably be the talk of the town in a matter of days.

Once they ordered dinner and the waitress poured their wine he'd had enough small talk. He wanted answers.

"Why did you come back?"

"I told you." Gracie sipped her wine. "I took a job here."

"Do you think I'm stupid?"

"Of course not." She lowered her head.

"Don't do that."

"Do what?"

"Just look at me." He was puzzled over her return and her elusiveness frustrated him.

She quickly raised her gaze, meeting his eyes.

"You walked away from this town without a trace. I don't believe you would come back after all this time to consult. Something isn't right."

"You told me to leave."

"Me!" He tapped his chest. "I told you to leave me. I never expected you to disappear. I thought I'd know where you were and what you were doing." Even though he told her to go, he'd always intended to take care of her.

"Without you, there wasn't anything here for me. You were everything. I had no family. I lived in your house. Where did you expect me to go?"

"We could have figured it out together. I would have made sure you were taken care of." She'd always been his responsibility and when she left he panicked she'd end up on the street.

"I needed to go. I had to figure out who I was. That's what you wanted."

"I wanted you to be happy."

"I am." She smiled. "I told you, I met someone who helped me."

"Then why aren't you with him?" He didn't like to think about her with another man. It infuriated him to know someone else touched what was his, even if he did let her go. "Are you running from him? Is that why you're back here? Do you need my help?"

She laughed. "I could never run from Martin."

He hated knowing his name. "So, Martin was your boyfriend?"

"Not really." She took another sip of her wine.

Her mysterious behavior pissed him off. She'd better start talking and fast.

"Your husband?" He felt his blood boil. Could she have gotten married?

"Cade," she said as she reached for his hand. "I don't want you to freak, but Martin was my Dom. I was his submissive."

***

Thanks so much for joining me today. I love making new friends so please connect with me…

http://ellajadeauthor,blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Charlie Factor

One, recovering from near deadly injuries; the other, unaware of what he’s been missing in his life. What one man can do, may heal them both.

Charlie Baker is recovering, slowly. Nearly dying tends to make a man reflect on each day. Take into account that his injuries were caused by a premeditated murder attempt, and he certainly isn’t looking for a lover. He is barely welcoming to a friend unable to trust anyone, preferring to hide from the world hours and miles away from the memories.

Gregory Anders hadn’t intended to disturb the man in silent contemplation on the beach, but when his pup, Samson, takes matters out of his hands, he’s forced to at least apologize for his pet’s behavior. There’s no doubt for Gregory that Charlie could use a friend. Clearing the air up front that he isn’t gay helps Charlie to relax, allowing for the cautious beginning of a friendship.

Two men, both alone, for different reasons. What happens when friendship bears more? When support and affection turns into attraction?

Do you take the chance of a lifetime, for the love a lifetime?


For more of Diana's books check her out on her website.

Read a review at Romancing The Reviews

Monday, July 16, 2012

Make Me Stay

Can the sub teach the Dom to play?
Natural submissive Gracie Miller thought she had found her other half in Cade Jameson. Not only did he help her through a difficult time in her life, in the bedroom he brought her more pleasure than she could have ever imagined. They seemed perfect for each other.
Cade knew what he wanted in the bedroom. Gracie brought out his domineering side and ignited his passion. But he feared he was too dominant for this beautiful, naïve girl, who was so young and impressionable, so he ended their relationship.
Two and a half years later, Gracie returns to town a new woman. She had moved to the city and found a "Master" who showed her what she was truly capable of. Now she's back and wants to show Cade exactly what kind of submissive she could be for him.
But after hearing all that she's experienced, Cade now wonders if he's dominant enough to satisfy her. Can he be the man Gracie needs him to be?
Content Warning: graphic sex, BDSM themes

Excerpt:
Ten minutes later they were seated at a quaint restaurant in the center of town. Cade had requested a quiet table in the back so they wouldn't be interrupted. He was confused enough and didn't need any distractions. Being a well-known businessman, he was always running into people who wanted to have a drink with him. Gracie's return would probably be the talk of the town in a matter of days.

Once they ordered dinner and the waitress poured their wine he'd had enough small talk. He wanted answers.

Why did you come back?

I told you. Gracie sipped her wine. "I took a job here."

Do you think I'm stupid?

Of course not. She lowered her head.

Don't do that.

Do what?

Just look at me. He was puzzled over her return and her elusiveness frustrated him.

She quickly raised her gaze, meeting his eyes.

You walked away from this town without a trace. I don't believe you would come back after all this time to consult. Something isn't right.

You told me to leave.

Me! He tapped his chest. "I told you to leave me. I never expected you to disappear. I thought I'd know where you were and what you were doing." Even though he told her to go, he'd always intended to take care of her.

Without you, there wasn't anything here for me. You were everything. I had no family. I lived in your house. Where did you expect me to go?

We could have figured it out together. I would have made sure you were taken care of. She'd always been his responsibility and when she left he panicked she'd end up on the street.

I needed to go. I had to figure out who I was. That's what you wanted.

I wanted you to be happy.

I am. She smiled. "I told you, I met someone who helped me."

Then why aren't you with him? He didn't like to think about her with another man. It infuriated him to know someone else touched what was his, even if he did let her go. "Are you running from him? Is that why you're back here? Do you need my help?"

She laughed. "I could never run from Martin."

He hated knowing his name. "So, Martin was your boyfriend?"

"Not really." She took another sip of her wine.

Her mysterious behavior pissed him off. She'd better start talking and fast.

Your husband? He felt his blood boil. Could she have gotten married?

Cade, she said as she reached for his hand. "I don't want you to freak, but Martin was my Dom. I was his submissive."

Make Me Stay Beachwalk Press buy link
About the author:
Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBooks industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can't be stopped.
Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two young boys. When she's not chasing after her kids, she's busy writing, attending PTO meetings, kickboxing and scrapbooking. She hope's you'll get lost in her words.

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